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Posted by on Sep 24, 2010 in Uncategorized | 9 comments

Join Us for a Workshop to Build Your Own Bike Trailer

Retro City Cycles will be hosting an S-Cargo trailer-building workshop on Saturday, October 16, beginning at noon.

Diana built a 24 x 42 trailer. Here, it holds a large dog crate for our Doggie Ride.

This is a great opportunity to build your own trailer with the support and assistance of bike mechanics and people who have already built these trailers.

We will be using the Wike DIY cargo kits. You can order your kit and hardware through Retro City Cycles by emailing Dave or calling (407) 895-2700.

The Wike DIY Cargo Kit contains:

  • Two 20″ alloy rims and hubs with precision bearings
  • Two 20″ tires and tubes
  • Towing bar to bicycle
  • Six connectors for 1″ square tube
  • Two axles plated 4130 with pushbutton release
  • One flexible trailer hitch
  • One bicycle hitch

Rodney's trailer is 24 x 48. Here he is delivering a case of Amsoil to a client. This trailer will also carry a bicycle—fork mounts can be purchased from Retro.

Your order through Retro will include the kit above, plus the square wall tubing and the self-tapping screws (we will gather those additional parts locally).

You can choose your trailer size (Prices include everything but decking):

24 x 36 = $230

24 x 48 = $245

You can bring your own decking material, add it later (the trailer can be pulled without the decking on it) or we can supply plywood decking for you (price for that has not been determined).

You may also want to build a crib or install other fastener hardware to support tie-downs. You provide those materials… you can do that during the workshop or later.

If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments! One of our trailer-builders will respond.

Please RSVP and place your order by 10/6 so we can ensure all the kits arrive in time.

9 Comments

  1. ohhhhh, I think I want to do this project!!! Thanks for the heads up. A couple questions, about how long will it take? What kind of decking options would you suggest? Plywood seems like a no brainer but are there other options? For tie down hardware, will that be available at the workshop or will we need to go to the hardware store? If so, any suggestions?

    • Rodney will have the answers for you, Laura. My trailer is actually 24″x42″ and I fiddled with it on and off for several weeks trying to decide what I wanted and how to do it. I didn’t have any directions, so had to figure it out for myself. I cut the tubing down several times from my initial grandiose plan, and made multiple trips to the hardware store to find appropriate fasteners. I had planned to tow a 42″ dog crate, but once I put it on the trailer, I was astounded at how huge and heavy it was behind the bike, so went with a smaller crate. As it turned out, a 36″ trailer would have been fine for my purposes. I used 3/8″ plywood for the deck. I could assemble a trailer now in about 30 minutes with precut tubing and decking. You might want to build the basic trailer and choose your own tie down cleats or whatever after you experiment with what you want to tow. I think Rodney and I both have done some revisions and add-ons to ours, and it’s great to have the flexibility to customize the basic platform trailer to meet your particular hauling needs. The best thing about these trailers is that you can pop off the quick release wheels, stand the trailer on end against the wall, and it takes up almost no storage space.

      • Laura, I forgot the most obvious answer to your question about tie downs and railings. Rodney and I built our trailers “upside down” from the way the kit was intended. Made as intended, one of the double layer of railings is on top, not underneath the deck, so you have built in railing to secure your load, and tie down places. In order to hold a 42″ dog crate within the tubing, and allow room for the connectors, which take up some space, my trailer would have been too wide to be comfortably towed behind my bike, so I flipped the design. Also. I was concerned that with the platform underneath, there would not be sufficient strength to hold it on with only a few screws. I have since realized that it would have been plenty strong to hold any weight that I might reasonably tow by bike. Since I don’t plan to tow a dog crate this way again anytime soon (or ever!), I will probably unscrew my trailer and make it as intended. Again, the beauty of versatility. With the parts as cut for Rodney’s workshop, you can build your trailer either way.

        Rodney is a big, strong, physically fit guy and he can tow things I wouldn’t be able to. I am glad you weren’t there to witness my comical struggle towing two dogs (106 pounds) in a crate (20 pounds) on my trailer. For Rodney, it might have been a piece of cake, but for me it was epic. I’ll try to take a picture for you of the trailer with the railing on top. You might prefer that, depending upon what you intend to haul.

  2. The advantage to building the trailer with the decking on top is you can carry things that are longer than the trailer. You can also carry things with a flat base. With the decking on the bottom, there is a center support disrupting the floor space. If I wanted a crib, I’d probably design something removable.

  3. IF you have more than one bicycle, you can get additional hitch/pin set for $20. Let the folks at Retro City know this when you place an order.

    These trailers are rated up to 150 lbs hauling capacity.

    I’ll have two electric drill motors to use during the workshop. We may need additional, so if you are able to bring or loan one that would help.

  4. @ Laura – One might use eye bolts w/lock nuts in the corners for tie down points. Plywood will most likely be the default platform material. One could attach strips to the decking and add eye bolts where desired.

    I used plywood at first, then acquired some used composite flooring.

    I use bungee cords, ratchet straps, and pull straps to secure my loads using the frame rails.

  5. A 40 oz peanut butter jar or 8 oz instant coffee jar (both of the plastic variety) make an excellent storage unit for a spare 20inch tube, patch kit, tire lever(s), and extra hitch pin. Zip ties will hold the jar in place very well.

  6. Do you have to actually order a trailer to attend? I might like a trailer in the future.

    • Not at all! You are welcome to come, hang out, help, socialize, whatever. We’d love to have you!